Fly Fishing the Texas Coast
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
The Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge covers 30,000 acres of brackish marshland. Located on the north shore of East Bay, its uncrowded, remote shorelines and bayous offer excellent redfish and trout action to flyfishers. Hard sand bottoms, grass flats, and scattered shell bars make the location ideal for wadefishing and sightcasting. Reefs extend well out into the bay. Boat traffic and angler activity are generally light around this remote refuge. There are 12 miles of graveled roads inside the refuge. Maps are available at the entrance, and signs direct visitors to the two boat launches and fishing areas. There is also walk-in wadefishing access to East Bay along Oyster Bayou Road. Fishing is permitted only in designated areas along East Bay bayous and shorelines. Visitors are asked to register when entering the refuge, but there is no admission fee.
You can"walk forever" on the Anahuac Refuge flats, says Galveston guide Chris Phillips. He recommends wadefishing during the fall months, when big schools of reds are known to patrol the shorelines. One good approach is to wade out in front of a stand of large cedar trees and work back along the shoreline. Near Frozen Point is a reef that can hold numbers of fish at this time of year. Anahuac's hard sand bottoms and sheltered shorelines make it an attractive wadefishing destination also during the winter.
The refuge is also a stopping point throughout the year for some 275 species of migratory birds. Between October and March, as many as twenty-seven kinds of ducks and five species of geese can be seen in the refuge. Herons, egrets, and ibis wade the shorelines. Alligators also are present and are most frequently viewed in the spring around Shoveler Pond in the northwest corner of the refuge. During the winter months, flyfishers hunting redfish and trout on East Bay shorelines are treated to the sight of some of the approximately 80,000 snow geese that stop off in the refuge each year.
To get to Anahuac's shorelines, travel east from Houston on I-10, then take exit 812 near the town of Hankamer and proceed south for 12.5 miles on Farm Road 61 and Farm Road 562. Turn left at the intersection of Farm Road 562 and Farm Road 1985 and proceed 4.2 miles on 1985 to the refuge entrance, then go right 3.0 miles to the check-in station. The refuge also can be reached from Texas 87 on the Bolivar Peninsula. At High Island, take Texas 124 north, then turn left on Farm Road 1985 and follow the signs to the refuge entrance.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication